NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's bowling team moved up one spot in the latest poll from the National Tenpins Coaches Association.
The Hawks, who had a very good record in January, climbed from ninth place to eighth place overall. Last month the team took first place at the Mid-Winter Classic and third at the nation's largest tournament, the Kutztown Invitational. The poll has no official bearing on the NCAA Championship field selection, but it does give the Hawks a boost in confidence as they hope to be one of the eight teams named to the field for a 12th straight year.
UMES earned 446 points, trailing seventh-place Sam Houston State by just 12 points (458). The Huskers of Nebraska maintained the top ranking with 735 points, 289 ahead of UMES. Fairleigh Dickinson closed the gap, holding on to second place with 729 points.
Vanderbilt (460), Central Missouri (608), Stephen F. Austin (526) and Arkansas State (634), rounded out the third through sixth place teams with Vanderbilt just 14 points ahead of the Hawks. The top four teams remained unchanged, but SFA jumped from eighth to fifth and Sam Houston went from fifth to seventh place. Wisconsin-Whitewater fell from seventh to ninth (380 points).
The Hawks are one of four teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) to earn a spot in the poll. Fellow league member Bethune-Cookman also earned votes in the poll.
The official NTCA release states, "The survey reflects a snapshot of thinking by the NCAA Bowling head coaches after the January competition had concluded."
UMES will be back in action this week as the team travels to Texas for the second straight event, this time the SFA Jacks Invitational, which features 17 teams including the top ten and features the No. 1 Nebraska, No. 4 Central Missouri and the new No. 5 SFA.